This essay explores Thomas Jefferson's early retirement political activity and binary vision of Federalism/Republicanism within the context of the broader political economic forces of the early nineteenth century. It shows that his notions of unity and legitimacy, so rooted in the life and death struggles of 1790s state building, increasingly no longer were relevant. His participation in a minor affair illuminates this point quite well. In the spring of 1811, Jefferson played a central role in a battle over loyalty, editorial prerogative, and the maintenance of party unity. It began when William Duane, book publisher, editor of the Philadelphia Aurora and long-time power broker within the coalition, sought Jefferson's help in securing funding from Virginia Republicans. Duane was facing a financial meltdown, and he hoped that the “sage of Monticello” might provide him a way out. Jefferson ultimately rejected the request in the name of party harmony, the irony of which is that Duane's “schism” reflected more of the future of the Republican movement than the harmonious nation Jefferson was hoping to preserve.